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Tactile Hallucinations

This involves abnormal or false sensation of touch of perception of movement on the skin or inside the body. In some cases, patients of Parkinson's Disease may have these kind of hallucinations, especially the feeling of flying or floating. Usually these are harmless and sometimes pleasant sensations. These are not specific to PD but can occur due to certain neurological conditions or or drugs. About 39.8% of the PD patients experience

such hallucinations. May PD patients understand that they are not real as it is happening.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help in managing the distress due to these hallucinations.

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Be careful about pandemics!

One of the long term effect of a pandemic may be higher risk of Parkinson's disease.

In recent years, heightened risk of developing Parkinson's Disease has been found in the survivors of outbreaks of HIV, West Nile virus, Japanese Encephalitis and other pandemics.

Neurologists who are trying to understand this feel that each of these viruses are capable of crossing into the brain and damaging the functions that control the movement and the degeneration may lead to PD.

Survivors of COVID are also likely to have long term central nervous system deficits.

Antibodies of coronavirus were found in the cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients.

Though scientists say it is too early to establish any link, it is obvious that one needs to stay away from pandemic infections as much as possible.

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Parkinson's Disease and Retina

While, Parkinson's Disease does impact the brain, one of the non-motor symptom is its impact on the vision of the patient. Using Optical Coherent Tomography, one can assess the changes to different retinal layers. Parkinson’s disease causes axonal damage in the Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer along with retinal thinning that can be detected using this technique. Patients with greater axonal damage tend to have longer duration of the disease and more severe PD symptoms.

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Early signs of Parkinson's Disease

While a slight bit of tremors or shaking of fingers may be a most commong sign of Parkinson's Disease, there are 10 early signs. These signs include:

  1. Tremors: Slight shaking of hand, finger or chin

  2. Small handwriting: A change in handwriting with cramped letters

  3. Loss of smell: Not able to smell food like banana, dill pickles or licorice

  4. Trouble Sleeping: Sudden movement during sleep like thrashing around

  5. Trouble Moving or Walking: Stiffness in body, arms, or legs. Feeling stuck on floor.

  6. Constipation: Trouble moving bowels without straining everyday

  7. Soft or low voice: Change in voice and you feel others have a problem listening

  8. Masked face: Serious face even when not in bad mood

  9. Dizziness or fainting: Low blood pressure specially when trying to stand up

  10. Stooping or hunching over: Not standing straight anymore

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